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AlterNIC founder sorry, won't quit

Eugene Kashpureff, founder of AlterNIC, apologizes to Network Solutions over a spoofing stunt he pulled last month.

    Eugene Kashpureff is sorry.

    Kashpureff, founder of AlterNIC, has been posting a letter of apology for a spoofing stunt he pulled last month as part of a settlement he reached Friday with Network Solutions, which runs the InterNIC.

    In what Kashpureff then labeled a "protest," on two separate occasions he redirected Netizens to AlterNIC rather than the InterNIC when they typed "www.internic.net" into their browsers.

    Over the weekend, he sent a letter of apology to journalists and mailing lists. He also posted it on his Web page. Kashpureff said tonight that the settlement required an apology and a promise to never do it again.

    "I am very sorry about the name service interruption that I caused to 'www.internic.net' during the weekend of July 10 through 14 and to 'www.netsol.com' during the weekend of July 21 through 23," he stated in the letter.

    "The Internet provides a great free and open space. I want to be sure that it stays that way. My actions hindered others' freedom to use and enjoy the Internet. For this I am deeply and sincerely sorry."

    Kashpureff then promised to cease and desist from these actions: "I will not engage in these or similar actions in the future. I am cooperating with Network Solutions to try and make sure that my actions cannot be duplicated by others. Again, I offer my apologies to the Internet community."

    Network Solutions originally sought a legal restraining order against Kashpureff to stop him from hijacking its domain name again. But the company on Friday said it would not pursue court action.

    For months, Kashpureff had been desperately trying to convey his message that the domains ".com," ".net," and ".org" belong to the public and not Network Solutions. He seized upon the hijacking idea as a form of protest but later said he let his emotions take it too far, angering even some of his supporters.

    However, he had said at one point during the controversy that he was still glad he had done it because it helped spread the word about the controversy over the ownership of domain names.

    He added tonight that while he can't fight Network Solutions, he was not about to give up the battle. "The fight is not out of me. I've been at it too long. But neither Network Solutions nor the InterNIC were my real battles. My real battles were over the National Science Foundation and the U.S. government's stranglehold over the domain names. I don't have anything at all restraining me from that fight."